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Team Player: Hoop Streams’ Cassidy Hubbarth and Max Kelley

"Max is always respectful and has an incredible ability to remain calm and set a clear, efficient plan of attack."

In the latest installment of Front Row’s “Team Player” series — where an ESPN on-air commentator selects a behind-the-scenes colleague to spotlight – Hoop Streams host Cassidy Hubbarth selects producer Max Kelley.

The Hoop Streams pregame show has made a significant impact on “NBA Twitter” and in the digital sports landscape over the past year, airing on the ESPN App, Twitter and YouTube (today, 5 p.m. ET) and routinely generating 1.6 million streams.

Hubbarth hosts the festivities which also feature commentators Kendrick Perkins, Amin Elhassan and Gary Striewski. The producer behind Hoop Streams is Kelley, a Northwestern alum who joined ESPN four years ago.

Cassidy Hubbarth, Hoop Streams host, reflects on Kelley:
“Max is clear and decisive while also accommodating and a great teammate. The biggest thing I value in a producer is their ability to communicate not just during the show in my ear but during the planning and organization for future shows. Max is always respectful and has an incredible ability to remain calm and set a clear, efficient plan of attack.”

What have been your most memorable assignments during your ESPN tenure?
I’m lucky to have had adventures in my four years. Hoop Streams is right up there, and I’ll always remember the first roadshow we did during the NBA Finals. Prior to producing Hoop Streams, I was fortunate enough to travel to Mt. Everest Base Camp where I produced the Everest No Filter SC Special with Tim Dwyer [ESPN+ director of development]. I got terribly sick while traveling on winding Tibetan roads, but it was worth it!

How would you describe your Hoop Streams experience?
Cassidy, Perk, Amin and Gary all have so much life and energy that it makes my job easy. If you get them together, the content flows naturally. Behind the scenes, it’s this beautiful melting pot of the Digital/Social team working with Studio Directing, Remote Ops and Event Production to pull off a smooth production.

How have you approached these afternoon shows from home differently than the standard on-site pregame show?
Despite the chaos, [Senior Vice President, Social & Digital Content] Ryan Spoon and Mike Foss [senior director, Digital & Social Video] have been innovative in finding ways for the Digital and Social teams to continue to produce creative content from our homes. For Hoop Streams, while the vibe is very different right now, we have more time to spend answering fan questions and learning about the personal lives of Cassidy, Perk and Amin.

Hoop Streams Team (L-R): Host Cassidy Hubbarth; commentator Gary Striewski; digital video producer Hayley Byrnes; analyst Kendrick Perkins; producer Max Kelley. (Photo courtesy of Max Kelley’s Instagram feed)
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